to the poet

our words matter
I know
you may think
this goes without saying
but you would be wrong
it must be said
again and again
        our words matter
                they are testament
to this collateral damage
        that is us

not to our neglected schools
or the hovels of the poor
or the bombed out houses
        of the iraqis
but the wreckage of us
of our hearts and our minds
and our torn out guts

we like to think we have chosen
to live out here on the edge of things
on the street corners
and coffee houses
and living rooms of the dying
we become smug
and sanctimonious
speak the language of the hipster

but the language of jazz
becomes the language of the man
the lexicon of privilege
the words of ad agency cool hunters
taking the pulse
        is it alive?
                will it sell?
can it be repackaged
or is the damage too great?
the shrapnel too close to the heart?

©2005 Duane Poncy